Icarus the Owl
Love Always, Leviathan


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jacob Royal STAFF
June 30th, 2012 | 321 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Instrumental acrobatics, performed through the lens of pop-punk.

I'm not majoring in marketing, no, but still something tells me that Icarus the Owl are doing everything correctly in order to sell their second full-length. Their name’s memorable, the album artwork is as grandiose as ever, and even the song titles are a delight, being a blend of importance and classiness. Upon further inspection, though, what’s most surprising is that Love Always, Leviathan holds up to these preconceived notions rather nicely. The music’s just as refreshing as the artwork would suggest, albeit not quite in the same way as expected.

It’s a tricky road to tread, attempting to make headway in the scene in which Icarus the Owl are contained. Technical pop-punk isn’t exactly the most innovative amalgam in the indie scene lately; it’s necessary that the next band to carry the genre’s torch any further do it with some creativity. Love Always, Leviathan is aware that it has to rattle audiences in order to impact, and so it examines the foundation upon which it was constructed in the first place. Clean guitar tapping is certainly here, delightful clean vocals grace the album’s presence, and soothing ballads find their home inside the tracklist, as expected.

However, the edge that Icarus the Owl possesses is their keen sense of instrumentation. Each song carries a memorable melody, sure, but how they go about achieving that melody is the most roundabout way possible. The group enjoys offbeat rhythms, usually uncomfortable time signatures and unexpected syncopation, and this feature does well to attract new fans as well as satisfy the loyal ones. “Swimming With Weights” is acrobatic by nature, for instance, and is an immediate standout track. The memorable chorus, irresistible verses, and easygoing bridge exist, somehow, alongside such counterintuitive time signatures. This is evidence of the band’s knack for grabbing and retaining attention, as well as the fact that the album rolls by rather quickly. Icarus the Owl are well aware of how essential dynamics are, and because of this they flesh out each new color right before the previous one putters out.

The technical gymnastics aren’t the only distinguishable feature about the group, though. Joey Rubenstein’s powerful vocals soar above and beyond the call of duty, presenting serene melodies that accompany memorable lyrics. There are many opportunities for his voice to shine; perhaps the most immediate example is “What We Had Was Never Love.” Harmonies coexist with theatric musicianship, in a manner of which Casey Crescenzo himself wouldn’t disapprove.

There’s much space utilized for carving individual identity, though - although there are many specific moments reminiscent of particular artists in comparable scenes, it’s honestly hard to draw too much comparison to others. One attribute that Icarus the Owl possess is that at the end of the day, they can be a little hard to define. Only you can take it upon yourself to discover exactly what audience Love Always, Leviathan caters to, and whether or not you’re a part of it.



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user ratings (129)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2012


10382 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

Posted originally on http://www.muzikdizcovery.com


"Nuclear Towns" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ5M9Y0muf4

"What We Had Was Never Love" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MKvsesN8F4

"The Hum of a Ceiling Light" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkLKJjpY52s&feature=related

"Swimming with Weights" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_m-7TTqM1k&feature=relmfu

Also holy hell, 50th review here. I'm crying.

Digging: Thou - Heathen

scissorlocked
June 30th 2012


3511 Comments


nice review man

this sounds good, catchy albums are always welcome for summertime

Digging: Low Roar - Low Roar

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2012


8391 Comments


I really, really like that album cover. I'll check out the songs you posted just because of that. Nice review btw.

1drummer
June 30th 2012


326 Comments


Wowowowowow... Pop punk done right? I didn't think it was possible, but this cannot be denied.

BassDemon333
June 30th 2012


3415 Comments


That album cover is awesome

drewcordova
June 30th 2012


705 Comments


Good review. These guys are what TTNG would sound like if their singer had a little better ear for melody.

TomAkaVeto
June 30th 2012


1690 Comments


My friend Sam did the cover. It is super rad!

henryChinaski
June 30th 2012


2847 Comments


Nice review. I came across this band name a few times, never listened to any of their stuff though. Gonna do that now. The artwork is really awesome indeed.

CaptainDooRight
June 30th 2012


30334 Comments


I guess I don't need to say how much I like the album cover, being that I surf, but your review is solid and I'm gonna check some those links out.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2012


8391 Comments


Decent stuff for sure, just, it's not for me. I can definitely see people who are into this style digging it a lot.

Shiduba
June 30th 2012


424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Such a good album, review is also good. Technicality combined with catchiness is always fun to listen to.

danielito19
June 30th 2012


6711 Comments


is this anything like Gatsby's American Dream?

danielito19
June 30th 2012


6711 Comments


not really, just listened to the first track and christ

ZedO
June 30th 2012


1096 Comments


never heard of this probably will check out, but yea that tsunami cover art rules. pos'd hard

danielito19
June 30th 2012


6711 Comments


Lyrics written by: Joey Rubenstein
Vocals performed by: Joey Rubenstein
Guitars performed by: Joey Rubenstein
Bass performed by: Joey Rubenstein and Stephan Hawkes
Drums performed by: Rob Bernknopf
Additional guitars on track 11 performed by: AJ Stacher
Additional instrumentation arranged by: Joey Rubenstein


so it's the Joey Rubenstein band then

Nomos
June 30th 2012


865 Comments


I've listened to two tracks and I'm sold. Just what I was looking for. Really great stuff.

I'd been playing Tides of Man to death and wanted to find something else before I ruined those songs
for myself. This is perfect, and it's good you recommended ToM with this.

JohnFire
June 30th 2012


213 Comments


Was looking forward for this album because Nuclear Towns is such a great track and they showed their talent on "The Spotles Mind" but I'm underwhelmed. Can't really get into this album, it's all over the place and sometimes technical just for the sake of being technical and not serving the song at all, something I hate. A few more listens might change that, but I don't really think so...

Wolfhorde
June 30th 2012


13688 Comments


wank

Digging: Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket - Den sorgligaste musiken i varlden

Calc
June 30th 2012


12366 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Is this the dude from Forgive Durden singing?

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2012


10382 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2 | Sound Off

"catchy albums are always welcome for summertime"

This is so true, man.


"These guys are what TTNG would sound like if their singer had a little better ear for melody."

I can definitely understand your sentiments, and agree with you on that one.


"so it's the Joey Rubenstein band then"

Haha! I didn't even notice that, dude. Nice catch. x)


"I'd been playing Tides of Man to death and wanted to find something else before I ruined those songs
for myself. This is perfect, and it's good you recommended ToM with this."

Thanks man, yeah ToM is awesome but something's just missing for me. This group's much more down my alley.


"Can't really get into this album, it's all over the place and sometimes technical just for the sake of being technical and
not serving the song at all, something I hate."

I didn't really touch on this aspect in my review too much, but it's the reason why I didn't rate the album higher than a
4.


"Is this the dude from Forgive Durden singing?"

Not that I know of!


And thanks for all the kind words, guys. I knew this album would at least intrigue Sputnik.

Wolf, I like wank music too much to judge this to be honest. :P




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